You are here
Home > News > Elon Musk Denies 420 Tweet Was About Weed

Elon Musk Denies 420 Tweet Was About Weed

Elon Musk forgot to mention the importance of the number in cannabis culture when being questioned Monday at a California court hearing. After being interrogated by the prosecutor for Tesla employees, Elon Musk responded. He was accused of misleading shareholders regarding Tesla’s share price via Twitter.

It all started several years back. Musk took Tesla shares and increased their value from $419 – $420. He then announced that Tesla would go private via a Twitter. “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Musk tweeted on Aug. 7, 2018. “Funding secured.”—sending officials from The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into a tailspin.

Musk said he tweeted the share price based on what he said was a “firm commitment” from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to take Tesla private. But about 10 days later, Musk admitted that the Tesla buyout he had envisioned wasn’t going to materialize.

After an investigation, the SEC fined Musk $40 million, forcing the billionaire to step down as chair of Tesla’s board. SEC claimed that Musk had misled investors. In the SEC’s complaint, Musk was accused of rounding up the share price to $420 from $419 “because he had recently learned about the number’s significance in marijuana culture.” 

Musk caused instantaneous uproar about a month later, sparking a blunt with Joe Rogan on his show “The Joe Rogan Experience” on Sept. 3, 2018, shocking Tesla investors and officials across the board. His troubles didn’t end there. Chronic News asked if it was “the most expensive blunt of all time” due to the fallout, with NASA- and SpaceX-associated officials reviewing his security clearance.

According to the Verge, Nicholas Porritt works as an attorney representing a class of Tesla investors who want millions in damages for their failures to take Tesla Private. 

The courtroom got tense: “You rounded up to 420 because you thought that would be a joke that your girlfriend will enjoy, isn’t that correct?” Porritt asked. “No,” Musk said, adding, “there is some, I think, karma around 420. I should question whether that is good or bad karma at this point.”

Musk said that 420 wasn’t a weed joke, but a roughly 20% premium on the $419 stock price at the time. “420 was not chosen because of a joke,” Musk testified. “It was chosen because there was a 20 percent premium over the stock price.” Musk also claimed that it was a “coincidence.”

Musk’s tweets caused Tesla shareholders to lose billions of dollars. The jury will rule.

Judge Edward Chen ruled that the jury should be aware that Musk’s 2018 tweets are false. Now, jurors must decide whether Musk deceived Tesla shareholders through his tweets.

Musk said that he was not relying on a commitment for the Saudi PIF when he tweeted “funding secured,” adding that his shares in SpaceX would also help fund the deal to take Tesla private. “Just as I sold stock in Tesla to buy Twitter… I didn’t want to sell Tesla stock, but I did sell Tesla stock,” Musk said. “My SpaceX shares alone would have meant that funding was secured.”

After a massive firing, Musk was also sued by former employees of Twitter. After purchasing Twitter for $44Billion in October 2022, Musk was appointed CEO. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz is Twitter’s second-largest shareholder after Musk.